Paint a Quick Expressive Watercolour Portrait

Paint a Quick Expressive Watercolour Portrait via surelysimple.com - a watercolour tutorial on how to paint a portrait illustration with step by step photos!

Hello! Everyone loves a good custom portrait, don’t they? But you know the best part about a great portrait illustration? One that you paint yourself!

On that note, I’m glad to have Leach sharing a tutorial on how to paint a quick watercolour portrait! She’s an artist and a mom who makes some pretty art over at her etsy shop. Thanks, Leach, for this lovely watercolour lesson! Read on to find out how to make your own watercolour portrait (in only 5 steps!)

On to what Leach has to say!

Paint a Quick Expressive Watercolour Portrait 

This is a simple watercolor “portrait” illustration project that everyone can do, even kids!

You’ll need the following:

Paint a Quick Expressive Watercolour Portrait via surelysimple.com - a watercolour tutorial on how to paint a portrait illustration with step by step photos! step 1

  • A photo of who you want to paint
  • Pencil, calligraphy pen, brushes
  • Indian ink
  • Watercolors
  • Watercolour pencils/sticks

Steps: 

1/ I’m using a photo of my kids pretending to be Gumball & friends. First, I sketch the portrait in pencil. As this is an illustration, it’s meant to look loose and energetic. No need to be too precise or detailed. 
Paint a Quick Expressive Watercolour Portrait via surelysimple.com - a watercolour tutorial on how to paint a portrait illustration with step by step photos! step 1
 2/ After that, I go over my sketch in ink. To vary the intensity of the black, I’ve diluted some parts with water. I’ve used a calligraphy pen to scratch the outline in to achieve a crisp line.  You can use a brush for a more fluid line if you prefer.
Paint a Quick Expressive Watercolour Portrait via surelysimple.com - a watercolour tutorial on how to paint a portrait illustration with step by step photos! step 2
3/ Next, using watercolor pencils and sticks, I shade the background. Then, with a brush, soften the lines with a wash of water.
Paint a Quick Expressive Watercolour Portrait via surelysimple.com - a watercolour tutorial on how to paint a portrait illustration with step by step photos! step 3
Paint a Quick Expressive Watercolour Portrait via surelysimple.com - a watercolour tutorial on how to paint a portrait illustration with step by step photos! step 3
4/ Using the wet on wet technique, I paint in the clothing. To make it more interesting, I’ve added some dry watercolor pencil textures.
Paint a Quick Expressive Watercolour Portrait via surelysimple.com - a watercolour tutorial on how to paint a portrait illustration with step by step photos! step 4
5/ Finally, I add a light wash of color to their hair and add the pink to their tongues.
Paint a Quick Expressive Watercolour Portrait via surelysimple.com - a watercolour tutorial on how to paint a portrait illustration with step by step photos! step 5Completed!
 
Paint a Quick Expressive Watercolour Portrait via surelysimple.com - a watercolour tutorial on how to paint a portrait illustration with step by step photos! final result!
Thanks for sharing, Leach! You can find Leach and her art over on instagram.
So do you think you’ll make a portrait sometime? If and when you do, please do share with #surelysimple or #mysurelysimple over on instagram/twitter!